Thursday, October 09, 1997

John Perry Barlow's 50th Birthday Bash

WHERE ELSE WOULD you find Spaulding Grey, Ed Bennett and Stacy Horn all in the same room? At John Perry Barlow's 50th birthday party, of course. It was set in the Gemini Lounge in the East Village last week, where the dark gray brushed steel walls and deep eggplant hexagonal columns section off low eggplant velvet sofas from the low-lit bar. The crowd is dressed mostly in black.

After a lengthy and descriptive poem read by Avalanche's Cherry Arnold and sing-songwriter Lisa Cunningham, the likes of Steven Levy, Mark Frisk and Matt Peyton enjoyed some Ferrara Pasticceria birthday cake. Rezrocket jammed early at the party, with the unique software that allows you to play live, studio-quality music with anyone around the world. Unable to find Lingala, the African trance music, the newly-ancient Barlow suggested looking at Lincoln Center while DJ Jon Spooner mixed together some perfectly slick cyber sounds.

Super-tall skinny model-waitresses strutted in tight black lycra stretch pants and corsets taking drink orders. Andrew Rasiej of Irving Plaza and Cecilia Pagkalinawan of Abilon and spoke with me about the upcoming WWWAC Holiday Party.

Aside from the birthday boy from Wyoming, the most "colorful" character present was Rainbow Heart the body painter. Feathers in his hat, sparkely scarf and beaded vest, he sat down and painted various adventurous souls' faces. I ended up with glittery red, white, and blue wings on my eyelids dramatic enough to grace the side of a souped-up Harley. Hey man, face paint wants to be free.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

(Other notes edited out:

Taking Barlow for his word, Mr. Grey was in attendence with his significant other Kathy Russo and kids including new son, Theo.
A prime example of how the mood at parties can change dramatically ensued at the urinal:
DJ Jon Spooner is standing next to Birthday boy John Barlow.
DJ Jon: "Hey. Happy Birthday"
Bday John: "Oh. Thanks."

Then the door opens, Bday John glances in the mirror and waves at a woman standing outside.

Woman: "No, no, not you! I want to talk to the other guy!"
DJ Jon: "Me?"
Woman: "Yes! I just broke up with my boyfriend and would like to know if you could play "Freedom" by George Michael?"
DJ Jon: "Uh...NO..."
Meanwhile, the other dude at the far end perks up when he learns our damsel is recently unhitched...